This blog post was sponsored by Starbucks® but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience. These Apple Yogurt Parfaits with Homemade Fall Flavors Granola were inspired by Starbucks® Fall Flavors, now available at Walmart.
During the Fall season so many changes can occur that it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with daily rituals. Typically in the summer months the kids are home with me throughout the day and the summer season is slow for work so Mr. Harris is home a lot more too. However, once the Fall season rolls around school is back in session, work has picked up, kids are being shuffled to practice, and games and all of their activities and we’re onto a whole new routine again. It seems that just when I’ve begun to get comfortable with our routines, they change again! There’s one part of my daily routine that is always constant though, and that is my morning coffee ritual. I’m not the type that likes to head to a busy café for my cup of joe, I prefer to savor the morning hours alone with my favorite coffee all to myself. Maybe it’s because I’m an only child and used to being alone, but that’s just how I gather my thoughts and get my days started. This is probably one of the only routines of mine that stays constant, no matter how much our family or work schedules change, which makes it even more meaningful that Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Caffé Latte K-Cup® pods are now available for purchase at Walmart to brew at home! The PSL is basically synonymous with the Autumn season, and now it can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. WINNING!
Not only are the Pumpkin Spice Caffé Latte K-Cup® pods a more convenient way to enjoy your seasonal favorite flavor, the two step brewing process includes real pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors combined with dairy and it’s specially crafted to complement the smooth balanced Caffé Blend made from 100% arabica coffee. Every cup is velvety rich in taste and deliciously familiar. I even took the short quiz at walmart.com/starbucksfall to find my personalized flavor recommendations based on my tastes, and it described me as having a smooth and balanced nature -which is the perfect match for the Pumpkin Spice Latte!
The two step blending process includes a packed of Sweetened Dairy Blend with Pumpkin Spice flavors (including real pumpkin. Just add the packet to your mug, pop the K-Cup Pod into your Keurig, and brew up a delicious Pumpkin Spice Caffé Latte. Easy peasy! You’re on your way to a delicious tasting cup of coffee in practically no time flat.
Starbucks also has a Fall Blend available in a roast and ground package as well as K-cup pods that’s hearty with spice notes. It combines coffees from all three growing regions in a full-bodied blend. With warm and fresh spice notes from Sumatran beans, citrusy brightness stemming from coffees from Kenya and subtle nuttiness and balance from beans from Peru this is a cup of coffee that hearty and refined.
Speaking of delicious coffee, I’ve discovered that to get the maximum effect of a great tasting cup of coffee there’s actually a process to developing your tasting skills. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take long but it will definitely help you savor every sip!
- Smell the coffee. How the coffee smells really enhances the entire tasting experience. Your mouth can only distinguish salty, sweet, bitter or sour, but your nose detects thousands of smells!
- Slurp the coffee. I know this goes against everything I’ve taught my kids about table manners, but to really get all of those subtle flavors and aromas to reach all of the tasting zones in your mouth you have to slurp it a bit so the coffee can spray across your palate.
- Locate the coffee. Sure, it’s in your mouth but take a moment to savor how it feels. The weight of the coffee and where you’re experiencing the different flavors.
- Describe the coffee. Now that you’ve smelled it, tasted it and located it you should be able to adequately describe your coffee tasting experience. How would you describe the aroma, flavor and how the coffee feels in your mouth. Do you taste any other food flavors (like pumpkin?) or aromas that you can compare the coffee to?
Now that you’re a pro with your tasting skills, let’s take it a step further. There are also four tasting characteristics when sipping on your favorite coffee flavors. They are aroma (the way a coffee smells), acidity (the tanginess or tartness of the coffee – described as low, medium or high), body (the weight of the coffee on your tongue) and flavor (the way a coffee tastes).
But you don’t have to be a pro to know you just like how it tastes and smells. Certain coffee flavors and scents really do remind me of certain seasons that got me inspired while I was stocking my Keurig drawer full of Starbucks Fall products.
I’m really a simple breakfast person, especially during the week when I’m savoring my cup of coffee alone. I just want to make something easy that I can enjoy with my coffee, so I was inspired to make a batch of Homemade Fall Flavors Granola. When I was younger I actually preferred a good bowl of granola with milk instead of the sugary cereals other kids liked, and I also love to serve granola over a simple low-fat yogurt with fruit. This granola is inspired by the aromas and flavors of the Starbucks Fall Blend and the Pumpkin Spice Caffé Latte.
Making homemade granola is so easy and much tastier than many store bought granola. It tastes fresher and you can really customize the flavors however you please. For this batch I used plenty of Fall flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and all-spice along with honey-roasted sunflower seeds, golden raisins and dry bananas. Feel free to substitute your own favorite flavors to really customize a granola mix that you can enjoy. I’ve enjoyed snacking on this granola as is for the past few days, but it’s amazing over vanilla bean low-fat yogurt with some stove-top caramelized apples that I fixed up for a fall flavored parfait that’s perfectly suited to pair with the Starbucks Fall Blend or the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Ingredients for Homemade Fall Flavors Granola:
- 3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon all-spice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup honey roasted sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup crushed dry bananas
Ingredients for Stove-top Caramelized Apples:
- 2 honey-crisp apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
Ingredients for Apple Yogurt Parfaits with Homemade Fall Flavors Granola:
- low-fat vanilla yogurt
- stove-top caramelized apples (recipe above)
- Fall flavors granola (recipe above)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. To make the granola, start by mixing the rolled oats with the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice and cloves in a medium bowl. Stir to make sure all the spices are combined well, then add the honey roasted sunflower seeds.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture, and make sure all of the oats are completely covered with the honey coating. Spread the oats out onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
While the oats are cooking, pour the golden raisins into a small bowl, then let them soak for about 20 minutes in the apple juice. This will plump up the raisins a bit and add great texture to the granola. Once they have soaked thoroughly, squeeze out any excess moisture with a cheese cloth or paper towel before adding to the granola.
While the granola is cooling down, prepare the stove-top caramelized apples. Add the diced apples to a bowl with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir well so apples are fully coated. Melt the butter in a skillet with the water, and add the coated apples. Allow them cook on a medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the apples are softened. The apple mixture will thicken as they caramelize, remove from heat and allow to cool once done.
#StarbucksAtHome | #SavorEverySip
Do you like to prepare your coffee at home?
Which flavor do you think you identify with more? Don’t forget to find out your flavor profile and let me know what you think of your results! All three of Starbucks’ fall flavors – the Fall Blend, Pumpkin Spice Caffé Latte and Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa – are available at Walmart. I also have good news for my Starbucks Rewards friends, when you buy any three qualifying Starbucks products at Walmart you can get 75 stars! Find out more info here.